Vice Chancellor National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Lt Gen Wasim Alamgir HI(M), here Friday performed the groundbreaking of the construction work of NUMS Institute of Advanced Studies and Research (NIASR), a state of the art Rs 3.488 billion project which would help the university remain abreast of the advancements and ever changing trends in the fields of medical research.

In his brief remarks on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Wasim Alamgir said that spread over an area of 3.99 acres, the main focus of the institute would be on research and development by establishing state of the art 64 x beds clinical trials unit, drug bioequivalence studies facility, biogenetics / tissue & bio bank and animal house.

Those who were present on the occasion were Pro VC (Academics) Maj Gen Saleem Ahmed Khan HI(M), Retd, Pro VC (Administration) Maj Gen Syed Ammar Reza Hamdani HI(M), Retd, Provost Strategic Planning & Development Javeed Akhtar, Director Planning & Development Muhammad Ashfaq Sheikh and Project Director   Brig Syed Muhammad Nasir Zaidi SI(M), Retd along with his team

Lt Gen Wasim Alamgir said in the beginning of 19th century the basis of treatment was research   which benefited the humanity, adding, the Muslim scientists played an important role in this regard. However, there had been lack of research in Pakistan unfortunately but the completion of NIASR would help bridge this gap in research which would benefit the country. This institute will conduct research on all the ailments prevalent in this region which would help find treatment for these diseases to help the people. The basis of medical treatment is research and NIASR is first of its kind research institute which would carry the basic research in all integrated subjects of the medical science. NIASR would be a step forward in training human resources and use of latest equipment in the medical field. NUMS has already trained its human resources and purchased the latest equipment to ensure that the research work should begin in its full swing soon after the completion of the building. He was also given a detailed briefing, with help of the charts, on the development work of the project which was expected to complete by April 2024.

NIASR will provide clinical simulation and advanced skills training coupled with educational facilities which will also help resolve the long-standing problem of substandard and spurious drugs very effectively, said the Vice Chancellor.

Giving details the project director Brig Syed Muhammad Nasir Zaidi (Retd) said this institute comprises advanced research labs to support basic and applied research in Microbiology, Immunology, Genomics, Biotechnology, Nanomedicine and Phytochemistry and Natural Products. An animal facility for functional genomics studies and preclinical trials is also being established at the institute. A 64-bed clinical trial unit for Bioequivalence studies and clinical trials is also being established at the institute. This initiative will contribute to resolving the long-standing problem of substandard and spurious drugs in the country. Currently a faculty of sixty highly qualified PhD faculty inducted for NIASR are involved in various research projects related to biological sciences, psychology, public health and nutrition at the NUMS campus in Rawalpindi. The faculty has obtained multiple research grants have published their research in quality impact factor journals.

NIASR will supplement Research & Education facilities of Army medical establishments (AM College, AFPGMI, AF institutes, PEMH & CMH). Some of the areas of research will include Indigenization of Vaccines and Antisera (Anti Snake Venom), he added.